There is a dialogue in the movie that I think is going to stay with me for a long time post the memory of the movie has gone from my mind.
Camerlengo Patrick McKenna (Ewan McGregor) asks Prof. Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) the age old question: “Do you believe in God?” To which Langdon replies “Science tells me God must exist. My mind tells me I will never understand God. And my heart tells me I am not meant to”. This in a nutshell captures the essence of the book and the movie.
The movie starts off with the famous Large Hadron Collider experiment at CERN. The guys there manage to isolate the antimatter (God Particle) which is in extremely volatile state. Any contact with ‘matter’ will result in a huge catastrophic explosion. This ‘antimatter’ is stolen from CERN. In the meantime, there’s great unrest within the walls of the Vatican City. The current Pope has passed away under questionable circumstances and the Catholic church is preparing to elect the new Pope. In the interim the power of the seat lies with the Carmerlengo. The church’s old nemesis Illuminati has returned from the underground and is hell bent (pun intended) on taking revenge for the atrocities the church committed on the Illuminati alumni.
To the uninitiated, The Illuminati was a sect started by those governed by scientific purpose and was driven underground by the church due to the clear conflict of ideas. The Illuminati has also abducted 4 cardinals, the favorite contenders to become the next Pope. Robert Langdon with the help of his new side kick Vittoria Vetra (Ayelet Zurer) tries to unravel the mystery behind the Illuminati and save the lives of the abducted cardinals.
The movie unfolds in a pretty decent pace and hardly any time is wasted. The editing is swift and manages to grab the attention of the viewed. Tom Hanks brings his earnestness and honesty into his character. Ewan McGregor is decent and does sufficient justice to his role. The movie offers stunning visuals with the splendor of Rome and the Vatican City on full display. In all it’s a good watch.
Bottom line: The movie is better than The Da Vinci Code but the book (as always) is better. Go grab the book and then watch the movie.